OT: Wrestling Mats in Basement

mcruny42

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Mar 23, 2013
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Board members, I have recently moved into a new house with a mainly unfinished basement. As I have young children, I want to keep a large area (approx. 18' x 40') open for playing around, especially during the winter months. We have a ping pong table, and some other games, but I anticipate plenty of running around, balls being thrown and impromptu wrestling matches occurring. With this in mind, I want to cover the exposed concrete floors with some padding. I have found 2 used wrestling mats for sale. They are not in the best of shape, but these are simply meant to be played on for the next 5 years or so and provide some cost effective cushioning. The issue is my basement only has access from inside (not a walk out) and there is a pinch point due to doorways and walls that have made it difficult to maneuver items down into the basement unless completely taken apart (treadmill for example)... what are people's opinion on cutting the mats (approximately into 2 or 3 sections 5 or 6 feet in width when rolled up)... I would then have to tape them back together once laid down. I realize mats are taped together all the time, but this would be cutting an intact mat in half/thirds then taping those sections back together. Does anyone see any issue with this? Any recommendations for something else? I looked into the rubber squares that are used for gyms but it seems those are expensive and when kids run around on them they tend to come a part a lot. As this is a wrestling board, I figured I would ask for any input on my attempted plan?
 

mcruny42

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Mar 23, 2013
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Thank for that recommendation with the underlay instead of directly on concrete. No real concerns with cutting the mats and re-taping?
 

AgSurfer

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Aug 9, 2013
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Why can’t you just roll the mats up to get them into the basement? Cutting and retaping them should be ok except that tape does tend to come loose over time.

BTW, a cheaper and even better option to building a wooden frame would be to purchase a bunch of 4’x8’ 1/2” styrofoam insulation sheets and put them down first then put the mats on top of them. The styrofoam would make an excellent shock absorbing layer.
 

mcruny42

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Mar 23, 2013
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The entrance down into the basement is relatively tight. We could not fit our treadmill or elliptical down without having to disassemble them. Therefore, I am anticipating the 12' x 40' and 10' x 40' wrestling mats, even when rolled up will likely not bend enough to fit through the narrow area at the basement door entrance.
 

impalanut

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Jan 1, 2015
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Just fold the in half long ways and snake them down without rolling them up. It will take a few more people, but you will be able to bend them around the corners without a problem.
Did that in high school since the storage room was down a narrow hall with narrow doors.
 
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zzs006

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Mar 27, 2017
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I think it’s completely fine to cut them and tape them back especially for the use you described. Will be no problem
 
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nittinsc

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Aug 21, 2017
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You'll need to be careful if you plan on cutting the mats. It's not easy to get a straight square cut on foam material without a cutting machine. Doing it by hand will be tricky as it's hard to do and maintain a square edge. A mat will take multiple shallow cuts to avoid pulling. In a previous life I worked in a gasket shop in SW Pa and we had a rotary cutter for cutting foam and other rubber products that needed a perfectly square edge that also had a tank for a cooling oil/water emulsion. They are still in business if near you. Where are you located?
 

7brwnpsu

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Make sure you clean them well. Old mats harbor undesirable stuff.

I bought new dollamurs years ago and bought a good mat cleaning solution.

I'd roll them out in the back yard to drill on. Dug a flat area. When Jr worked out I'd then put down a tarp, plywood, another tarp then the mats.

Wish I had room for inside mats.
 

AgSurfer

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Aug 9, 2013
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Make sure you clean them well. Old mats harbor undesirable stuff.

I bought new dollamurs years ago and bought a good mat cleaning solution.

I'd roll them out in the back yard to drill on. Dug a flat area. When Jr worked out I'd then put down a tarp, plywood, another tarp then the mats.

Wish I had room for inside mats.
When I was coaching in WA, I came up with an idea. Every so often, take a garden sprayer or even better would be a paint sprayer and really saturate the mats with something like Lysol disinfectant or maybe even a water and Clorox mixture. Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe everything down with wet towels and then dry towels. I know that’s a lot more time than most teams want to spend cleaning the mats but it will probably kill just about anything including MRSA.
 

mcruny42

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Mar 23, 2013
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You'll need to be careful if you plan on cutting the mats. It's not easy to get a straight square cut on foam material without a cutting machine. Doing it by hand will be tricky as it's hard to do and maintain a square edge. A mat will take multiple shallow cuts to avoid pulling. In a previous life I worked in a gasket shop in SW Pa and we had a rotary cutter for cutting foam and other rubber products that needed a perfectly square edge that also had a tank for a cooling oil/water emulsion. They are still in business if near you. Where are you located?
South Hills of Pittsburgh, border of Washington and Allegheny County in Peters Township
 

82bordeaux

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Nov 19, 2019
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Make sure you clean them well. Old mats harbor undesirable stuff.

I bought new dollamurs years ago and bought a good mat cleaning solution.

I'd roll them out in the back yard to drill on. Dug a flat area. When Jr worked out I'd then put down a tarp, plywood, another tarp then the mats.

Wish I had room for inside mats.
Don't let Willie and Corby help you with the mat sterilizer...
giphy.gif
 

7brwnpsu

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South Hills of Pittsburgh, border of Washington and Allegheny County in Peters Township
I patched up as a ref years ago only to learn the rules better as my boys wrestlered. My second goal was to help out with a couple youth matches or a local Jr high tournament.

Later I phased out of it, kept my license, but still enjoyed going out as an assistant ref once a year with a more experienced head ref for a Jr high and varsity match.

One year I worked as an assistant ref at Peter's Township high school. Their colors were Red and the away team wore Green singlet, I believe it was South Fayette.

The head ref was a former state champ and AA out of Edinboro. He kept the home team (wearing Red) as green and the away team (wearing Green) as Red as the rules state. Not once did that ref throw up the wrong hand during scoring. He did this without having them wear ankle bands.

Had that been me I would have been throwing up the wrong hands constantly. The score keeper would have wanted to kill me by the end of the night.

Good luck with your mats. Keep us informed when Cael visits in a couple of years.
 

mcruny42

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Mar 23, 2013
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Took 4 of us to get them into the basement today. Wow was that much more work than I anticipated. They are in, need trimmed to fit tightly, but they are in. Will give them a thorough cleaning before taping them but can imagine the Cael approved dodge ball games already. Will try to post pics when finished. Thank you for everyone's input.
 

mcruny42

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Mar 23, 2013
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We ended up having to cut them. The 10' x 40' mat was cut down 10' x 25' and the 12 x 40' was cut down to 6x25' in order to help. So it is looking like I will have 3 tape lines for the main area that is 17.5' x 35' but shouldn't be too bad. They were very heavy (old 1.5" thick Resilite mats) and difficult to maneuver through the house even after cutting.
 
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